02-27-2008, 12:29 AM

February 26, 2008

Here is a simple explanation of the misunderstanding associated with Dave Bauscher???s Bible Code ???divine names??? study.

Dave is using a computer program called CodeFinder to sort letters of the Peshitto text by skipping one or more alphabetical letters between letter selection. This is called equal letter spacing (ELS). This program can skip from one to many hundreds of letters in making each letter selection, and can go around through the text in both directions until all possible unique combinations have been made for the desired ELS???s. This creates a very, very, very long string if letters. The program then searches for every occurrence of a desired short string of letters chosen by the user. For a short string of letters like a short word it will typically locate about a MILLIONS copies. Wow! This would not be possible without a modern high-speed computer.

So, if you choose to ???search??? this very, very long string of letters obtained from the text of the Peshitto New Testament for the Aramaic word Yeshua (four Aramaic letters) you might get a million copies ???found???. Dave ran this word and CodeFinder found 944,519 copies of Yeshua.

How would you decide whether this is a ???significant??? find?

This is not an easy question to answer, because that many might be expected to be ???found??? by pure chance considering it was nothing more than a massive shuffling and dealing of alphabetical letters.

One way of evaluating this find would be to ASSUME that all of the letters in the text are perfectly randomly distributed. Then you can ASSUME that the actual word that was chosen for the search does not affect the probability of finding a the chosen combination of letters, the word for which you are searching. The CodeFinder program will tell you how many copies of each letter are found in the whole text and it can use simple probability mathematics to estimate the chance of finding each letter in the word and then estimate the ideal number of copies of the whole word that would be expected for the whole search.

Thus, assuming the normal approximation of the Poisson distribution CodeFinder can estimate the ???expected??? total number of ???finds??? that you should get and ???standard deviation??? of the expected variability. CodeFinder estimated that ???theoretically??? it should have found 942,600 copies of ???Yeshua???. Therefore, it ???found??? 1,919 ???extra??? copies in the 944,519 that it found. That is a mere and meaningless 0.2% of the total, but a simple textbook statistical test would tell you that the probability of this number of extra copies is only 2.4%. Wow! Dave probably concluded that this ???extra??? 0.2% among the 944,519 copies of ???Yeshua??? was a Godly miracle. Both truth and common sense suggest that there is something wrong with this logic.

The logical error is in the assumption part of the process. To believe this result you have to ASSUME that all of the letters in the text are ???perfectly randomly??? distributed. They are not! They are, in fact, organized in a very systematic fashion in the form of meaningful words, phrases, and sentences, a virtual mosaic rather than a random mess. If they were randomly distributed the text would be pure jibberish. This is a common mistake in the logical process involved in looking for ???Bible Codes???.

In addition there is a second erroneous assumption. You cannot ASSUME that the actual word that was chosen for the search does not affect the probability of finding a the chosen combination of letters. The actual word chosen may have letters that tend to have a commonly recurrent paired relationship in the Aramaic language. Such a paired relationship can affect the result in a complex way for which the simple probability calculation does not account. For example, in English the letter ???t??? and ???h??? are often adjacent. If you are searching for the word ???hit???, every ???h??? that is found that is adjacent to a ???t??? removes a t as well as an h from the calculated total of available letters since adjacent letters are not allowed in the equal letter spacing (ELS) process. This suggests that a few extra shortages and a few extra excesses of chosen words at the tails of the distribution are to be expected.

In Dave???s divine names study he used CodeFinder to separately search for 95 words or short phrases in Aramaic or Hebrew which he viewed as being of spiritual significance. There actually were no remarkable trends with about half of the observed number of ???divine names??? being slightly more than the calculated expected number and about half being slightly fewer. Here is a summary of the results:

(1) the distribution formed a typically Gaussian (or normal distribution) bell-shaped curve demonstrating a correction factor of about 2 for the calculated ideal standard deviations;

(2) 47 ???divine names??? had fewer than the calculated ???expected??? number (the ideal number is half or 47.5);

(3) 48 ???divine names??? had more than the calculated ???expected??? number (the ideal number is half or 47.5);

(4) within one standard deviation of the mean there were 38 that were fewer than the mean and there were 36 that were more (the ideal number for each is 32.4);

(5) within two standard deviations of the mean there were 43 that were fewer than the mean and there were 44 that were more (the ideal number for each is 45.3);

(6) beyond two standard deviations of the mean there were 4 that were more than the mean and 4 that were fewer than the mean (the ideal number for each is 2.2).

These results are rather ordinary and certainly not a miraculous finding.

As for Dave???s interpretation, I can only say:

???To err is human, but to really foul up requires a computer!???

Otto

Here is a simple explanation of the misunderstanding associated with Dave Bauscher???s Bible Code ???divine names??? study.

Dave is using a computer program called CodeFinder to sort letters of the Peshitto text by skipping one or more alphabetical letters between letter selection. This is called equal letter spacing (ELS). This program can skip from one to many hundreds of letters in making each letter selection, and can go around through the text in both directions until all possible unique combinations have been made for the desired ELS???s. This creates a very, very, very long string if letters. The program then searches for every occurrence of a desired short string of letters chosen by the user. For a short string of letters like a short word it will typically locate about a MILLIONS copies. Wow! This would not be possible without a modern high-speed computer.

So, if you choose to ???search??? this very, very long string of letters obtained from the text of the Peshitto New Testament for the Aramaic word Yeshua (four Aramaic letters) you might get a million copies ???found???. Dave ran this word and CodeFinder found 944,519 copies of Yeshua.

How would you decide whether this is a ???significant??? find?

This is not an easy question to answer, because that many might be expected to be ???found??? by pure chance considering it was nothing more than a massive shuffling and dealing of alphabetical letters.

One way of evaluating this find would be to ASSUME that all of the letters in the text are perfectly randomly distributed. Then you can ASSUME that the actual word that was chosen for the search does not affect the probability of finding a the chosen combination of letters, the word for which you are searching. The CodeFinder program will tell you how many copies of each letter are found in the whole text and it can use simple probability mathematics to estimate the chance of finding each letter in the word and then estimate the ideal number of copies of the whole word that would be expected for the whole search.

Thus, assuming the normal approximation of the Poisson distribution CodeFinder can estimate the ???expected??? total number of ???finds??? that you should get and ???standard deviation??? of the expected variability. CodeFinder estimated that ???theoretically??? it should have found 942,600 copies of ???Yeshua???. Therefore, it ???found??? 1,919 ???extra??? copies in the 944,519 that it found. That is a mere and meaningless 0.2% of the total, but a simple textbook statistical test would tell you that the probability of this number of extra copies is only 2.4%. Wow! Dave probably concluded that this ???extra??? 0.2% among the 944,519 copies of ???Yeshua??? was a Godly miracle. Both truth and common sense suggest that there is something wrong with this logic.

The logical error is in the assumption part of the process. To believe this result you have to ASSUME that all of the letters in the text are ???perfectly randomly??? distributed. They are not! They are, in fact, organized in a very systematic fashion in the form of meaningful words, phrases, and sentences, a virtual mosaic rather than a random mess. If they were randomly distributed the text would be pure jibberish. This is a common mistake in the logical process involved in looking for ???Bible Codes???.

In addition there is a second erroneous assumption. You cannot ASSUME that the actual word that was chosen for the search does not affect the probability of finding a the chosen combination of letters. The actual word chosen may have letters that tend to have a commonly recurrent paired relationship in the Aramaic language. Such a paired relationship can affect the result in a complex way for which the simple probability calculation does not account. For example, in English the letter ???t??? and ???h??? are often adjacent. If you are searching for the word ???hit???, every ???h??? that is found that is adjacent to a ???t??? removes a t as well as an h from the calculated total of available letters since adjacent letters are not allowed in the equal letter spacing (ELS) process. This suggests that a few extra shortages and a few extra excesses of chosen words at the tails of the distribution are to be expected.

In Dave???s divine names study he used CodeFinder to separately search for 95 words or short phrases in Aramaic or Hebrew which he viewed as being of spiritual significance. There actually were no remarkable trends with about half of the observed number of ???divine names??? being slightly more than the calculated expected number and about half being slightly fewer. Here is a summary of the results:

(1) the distribution formed a typically Gaussian (or normal distribution) bell-shaped curve demonstrating a correction factor of about 2 for the calculated ideal standard deviations;

(2) 47 ???divine names??? had fewer than the calculated ???expected??? number (the ideal number is half or 47.5);

(3) 48 ???divine names??? had more than the calculated ???expected??? number (the ideal number is half or 47.5);

(4) within one standard deviation of the mean there were 38 that were fewer than the mean and there were 36 that were more (the ideal number for each is 32.4);

(5) within two standard deviations of the mean there were 43 that were fewer than the mean and there were 44 that were more (the ideal number for each is 45.3);

(6) beyond two standard deviations of the mean there were 4 that were more than the mean and 4 that were fewer than the mean (the ideal number for each is 2.2).

These results are rather ordinary and certainly not a miraculous finding.

As for Dave???s interpretation, I can only say:

???To err is human, but to really foul up requires a computer!???

Otto